Portland Auto Show

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The Auto Show is one of my favorite events each year.  Fresh, new cars, futuristic technology… and being able to know before anyone else which rides will attract all the attention on the road in a few years.  Of course then, one would jump at the chance to work the show this year.  Not only would I have one option, nay, but two different booths to run between.  Deal.

How much suck was it then when Snowpocalypse 2014 hit at the very same time as the Auto Show?  By Noon on Thursday people were abandoning work and fleeing home to try and avoid the *gasp* inches if snow meeting the roadway.  By 3pm I myself had opted to go home and enjoy the free time. Little did I know one HOUR later I’d be facing practically the same thought process as I meandered down MLK Blvd at a pace of 1 mph.

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Abandoning my car was not my first option, but it ended up working well.  This gave the quaint opportunity of testing Portland’s Tri-Met system which, I have to admit, worked rather well in getting near home and the Convention Center even while traveling snow routes.

The winter wonder world proved disasterous for the show, however.  The first shift, normally a busy one at 7-10pm Friday night, had only a few dozen people walking around the building.  It did lead to a fantastic opportunity to view the cars you loved and spend plenty of time taking pictures without random photobombers.

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What I did love about this year’s show were a very select few automobiles. Ford’s 2015 Mustang is on display here in one of it’s first debuts.  It’s hot.  A good mix of recent Mustang muscle with the smoother lines that used to flow down the fastbacks.  Cadillac’s new CTS was a pleasure as well, with an interior that screams to be touched and vertical LEDs lining the gaping holes of the fascia.  The Chevy Corvette was also a hot conversation with some loving it for it’s Italian-esque design, taking cues from it’s more respected competitor Ferrari.  Others hated it for that same note, but all observed the amount of available power and handling this thing will give at $65,000.

Speaking of $65,000, guess who’s selling a car for the much?  Kia.  And Hyundai. Boom. “Of course I’d spend that much on a Kia!,” said no one, ever.   Enter the K900.  I must say the quality of these things have come a long way, but you needn’t look much further than the wheels to understand the Koreans still have a ways to come in certain departments.  However the interior feels near as nice as any German car out there.  Hyundai is also offering the Equus which can total $69,000 with options. Yikes!

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There were many moderately exciting vehicles, such as the Chevy SS – a sedan with 400+hp in a neat, tidy package that wouldn’t draw too much attention at Walmart let alone stoplights. Something about the sleeper package draws me in.  Buick’s Regal GS looked nice with 20″ rims, with class and style but not enough to garner wild attention.  In a meager surprise, the new Chrysler 200 looked better than it has since… well, before it was a Sebring.  It’s almost respectable.

Overall though, there were many cars we just didn’t like seeing.  BMW comes to top of mind with it’s new 2 series, 4 series, 6 series Grand Coupe, and i3 all on display, none of which the public seemed to ask for. Lexus’s IS250 seems to have taken a step backward, Mitsubishi had… well nothing. And besides a cool Scion FRS Toyota and Honda had only rather vanilla people movers on display.

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As far as trucks go, Ford’s new all-aluminum F-150 looks nice.  It’s fresh, crisp, clean, and manly.  RAM on the other hand made their new trucks even bigger for big’s sake.  The standard RAM 1500 is now an absurd beast,  There was enough room on the center console to throw a barrel of hay which, depending on who you are, is either handy or absurd.

Subaru is still trying to find it’s styling game.  After going from “odd yet classic” to entirely bland, Subaru has been continuing to build AWD architecture that’s tough to beat all-around and has slowly been getting it’s style back.  The new Impreza WRX is looking tempting once again, and who can deny the sound of those boxer engines?

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What were your thoughts on the Portland Auto Show?  Sound off below!

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